The current number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa is sitting at three, but outside of China one of the worst affected areas has been the US city of Seattle. It was where the first case in the country was announced and, at the time of writing, has the most number of COVID-19 cases in the region.

Naturally those in the area are scrambling for some sort of solution to better diagnose people, as well as limit human contact, which is easier said than done. Aiming to assist in this regard is the Gates Foundation, which is funding a project to develop a home testing kit for coronavirus.

According to the Seattle Times, the home testing kit would utilise swabs to take samples from people’s noses and sending them back to a lab for analysis. They say results can be produced within two days and shared with local health officials should they come back positive for COVID-19.

From there an online form would be used to help track what the recent movements of an infected person has been so health officials have a better idea of who else may have been possibly infected.

The project is yet to get off the ground but the Gates Foundation says the lab would be able to handle up to 400 tests per day initially and ramp up from there.

For now there is no indication of when this project will be up and running, but as the number of cases, and hysteria, grow locally, perhaps a similar initiative could be spun up.

Either way the Gates Foundation believes these home kits can serve as an effective way to help track and limit the spread of the epidemic in Seattle.

[Image – Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash]